This Tedious Human Minute (from the Finnish)

Say you have, for instance, a costly tiara in one hand and a heinous sylvan death mask in the other; you're wearing your euphemistic helmet and ravishing suit, you're soaked in the blood of your enemies and gooned on fistfuls of painkillers, and you're telling your Samoan jokes to a ton of tipsy middlemen in their lousy seats a mile from the main stage; your microphone teeters and there's a sound like broken toys playing on a tape somewhere, and FM radio squeals a rock opera, and in this tedious human minute a stain spreads out from your feet, an oily, pale, unseen void without humility, a really vast, humongous, jury-rigged moon to set you on fire; you screech that it is the death of the millennium, the mother of all sins, on this site of pious madness, this aching capitalist rhyming new rock symphony; you're laughing and joking but the tofu cossacks are saluting your killers and their underlings, and the nameless oval is tapping out a tune in your name, a sinister death opus, your personalized inhuman elemental throat pulse, culminating in the turbulent hive that rakes your ego in an eponymous aria of polyvocal helljets; you are variously opened, shot from a cannon, posited to be, honestly, not; and you are not.

J. Robert Lennon is the author of two story collections, Pieces For The Left Hand and See You in Paradise, and seven novels, including Mailman, Familiar, and Happyland. He teaches writing at Cornell University.